Judiciary-Poetry-Logo
JPoetry

WHAT IS SPECULATION?

Dictum

Speculation is “the art of theorizing about a matter as to which evidence is not sufficient for certain knowledge”. See Black’s Law Dictionary: 6th Ed.

— Augie, JSC. Enobong v. The State (2022) – SC/CR/249/2020

Was this dictum helpful?

SHARE ON

A COURT’S FINDING IS PERVERSE WHERE IT IS SPECULATIVE

Evaluation of evidence and the ascription of probative value is the primary duty of the trial Court that saw and assessed the credibility of the witnesses. The appellate Court that does not enjoy this much advantage cannot, on the basis of the cold facts on record, interfere with the trial Court’s findings of fact unless it finds the findings to be perverse. A Court’s findings are perverse where they are speculative, not being based on any evidence or because the Court had taken into account matters which it ought not to or shut its eyes to the obvious. Because of the miscarriage of justice, they occasion, perverse findings do not sustain a judgment on appeal even if same had been upheld by the Court of Appeal. See Jolayemi & Ors V. Alaoye & Anor (2004) 12 NWLR (Pt. 887) 322 and Akinlagun & Ors V. Oshoboja & Anor (2006) LPELR-348 (SC).

— M.D. Muhammad, JSC. Mati Musa v The State (2019) – SC.902/2014

Was this dictum helpful?

COURTS DO NOT SPECULATE

He who asserts must prove. A Court does not go on a voyage of speculation imagining things which either happened or might have happened or did not happen. It is the defendant/appellant who seeks to falsify exhibit “C” that should lead credible evidence to that effect. He has failed to do so.

– Ubaezonu JCA. Coker v. Adetayo (1992)

Was this dictum helpful?

COURT OF LAW SHOULD NOT DECIDE A CASE BASED ON SPECULATION

In the case of VICTOR ISONGUYO VS STATE (2023) 3 NWLR (PT. 1872) 519, the Supreme Court held thus: “A court should not decide a case on mere conjecture or speculation. Court of laws are courts of facts and law. They decide issues on facts established before them and on law. They must avoid speculation. A court cannot decide issues on speculation, no matter how close what it relies on may seem to be on the facts. Speculation is not an aspect of inference that may be drawn from facts that are laid before the Court. Inference is a reasonable deduction from facts, whereas speculation is a mere variant of imaginative guess which, even when it appears plausible should never be allowed by a court of law to feel any hiatus in the evidence before it.”

Was this dictum helpful?

A COURT OF LAW CANNOT SPECULATE

A court of law acts on reality, i.e. what has actually taken place or is taking place at the time of complaint. Hardly has speculation any place in law. If there is allegation, then there must be proof to substantiate that allegation.

– Tanko, JCA. El-Rufai v. House of Representatives (2003)

Was this dictum helpful?